Samsung Could Outflank Motorola With New $840 Galaxy Fold

Samsung hasn’t been shy about its plans to launch a clamshell style foldable phone that’s similar to Motorola’s Razr. But now we may have a price, according to a new report. 

Citing "industry sources", a story in the Korea Herald claims that Samsung will launch its next foldable phone in February 2020 alongside the Galaxy S11 and it’ll cost 1 million won ($840). 

The story also claims this is one of two devices expected to launch next year, with the second Galaxy Fold landing in August - presumably alongside the Note 11. 

The report doesn’t have any additional details about specs, but the price may be a guide to that. A price of $840 - if this information is accurate - means that this new foldable device is $1150 cheaper than the current Fold and $650 cheaper than Motorola’s Razr. It’s even cheaper than the Galaxy S10, which makes me question the accuracy of that figure. 

I do think that prices for foldable phones will dramatically drop next year - and not just in headline price, but also the repair/replacement display prices. But for next generation technology to come in cheaper than the current gen flagship? I’m not sure. 

If the new Samsung foldable device does dip, then Samsung will likely make some cutbacks on specifications - as Motorola did. A reasonably priced mid-range clamshell device to combat the immediate threat of Motorola’s handset is not beyond the realms of possibility. 

There’s also a potential design reason for a cheaper price, clamshell style phones are far more compact than current smartphones. When collapsed they’re almost half the size of a traditional handset. So finding the space to fit a large battery is difficult, just look at the Razr’s 2510mAh cell, which is supposed to power a 6.2-inch screen (when fully extended). As dazzling as a flip-up phone is, I’m not sure how easy it is to ask for upwards of $2000 for a device that needs to be charged twice a day. 

However this new Samsung foldable phone turns out, if it comes in at under $1000 then that will be a big problem for Motorola, which has enjoyed a mini comeback since the Razr was launched. It goes on sale at the end of December and will only have a two month lead on Samsung’s next launch in February, which may or may not be enough time to see off its clearest competition yet. 

I’m a London-based freelance journalist who specializes in all aspects of technology including investigations, comment and news. I'm the editor-in-chief of the investiga...